Mother arrested for toddlers’ drowning deaths

A young mother has been arrested for felony child abuse near San Diego, California. Her two children, Harley, a 16 month old girl, and Jason, her two-year old brother drowned in a friend’s swimming pool last April. There was a marajuana growing operation going on at the  house where the two toddlers drowned.

Call for justice after mother arrested for toddlers’ drowning deaths.

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Protect Our Kids Act

I have always felt patriotic about the USA. I love singing the National Anthem and “America, the Beautiful” sends chills up my spine. As I grew older, however, and followed the works of various presidents, I have become disillusioned about our country. I don’t like the way the government has “secret” organizations that spy on us, and I don’t like the IRS, whose power seems to be omnipotent. Most of all, I do not appreciate the way the Democrats and the Republicans have been at a near standstill for the last few years.

However, in 2012 and 2013 President Obama and Congress have passed the PROTECT OUR KIDS ACT, which creates a national committee to study ways to prevent fatal child mal-treatment. This means they are trying to prevent the deaths of children who are abused.

This particular issue is very close to my heart, since I was abused myself by a live-in babysitter when I was four years old. I know the feeling of helplessness, desperation and terror that a child experiences when they are overpowered and tortured by an adult. It is heart rending to think of a helpless child being killed by their parent or caregiver.

So I am pleased at last with the government of the United States, which is now going to help with this gigantic problem. Here are some statistics about child abuse from Dreamcatchers for Abused Children, an internet watchdog site which is very informative on child abuse.

  • Every 13 seconds a child is abused in the US.
  • Since 1980, physical abuse has increased by 84%.
  • Sexual abuse has increased by 350%.
  • Emotional abuse has increased by 333%.
  • Child neglect has increased by 320%.

The Children’s Advocacy Center released information they collected over the first half of 2013. The Centers, which are in various cities around the country and help citizens stop child abuse, dealt with 150,000 cases of child abuse, and over 100,000 cases were reports of sexual abuse.

THAT MEANS ADULTS ARE HAVING SEX WITH CHILDREN EVERY SINGLE DAY.

These statistics are unbelievable. They demonstrate the moral decline that our nation is experiencing. Immorality has increased and it is having a devastating effect on our children. Do you agree?

I am hoping the PROTECT OUR CHILDREN ACT will root out child abusers and enact tougher penalties on them.

Why Abuse Victims Don’t Leave

People say that children who are abused by their parents or other adults will often seek relationships with others who will abuse them. I don’t understand this syndrome, but I have observed it in my own life.

I was abused by a maid when I was a little girl and my first two marriages were to men who abused me. How can that be? You would think that I would choose someone just the opposite, who would treat me nicely. But no, I chose men who were verbally abusive and one of them also hit me. Why didn’t I see it coming?

On the other hand, child abuse victims sometimes become adult perpetrators. People who have been abused as children often carry their frustrations and pain into their relationships when they become adults.

Leslie Morgan Steiner talks about her marriage to a young man who was abused as a child, and how he slowly seduced her and made her his victim. Her talk, on Ted.com, explains how she got into the abusive marriage and finally got out. It is an eye-opening story of why domestic abuse victims don’t leave. It’s worth the 15 minutes it takes to listen. Here’s the link:

http://on.ted.com/Steiner

Three Ways to Fight Child Abuse

In Matthew 10:16 the Lord tells us to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves when fighting our enemies. Fighting child abuse can be a dangerous mission, especially when confronting or reporting an abuser. When we march to raise child abuse awareness, we are gentle as doves, like these people in Idaho.

1. BOISE — April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, and Idahoans are taking notice. A small group marched from the Idaho Statehouse on Monday for the annual “Million March Against Child Abuse.” Similar marches were held across the country in a unified effort to bring attention to child abuse.

“We’re on a mission to spread awareness about child abuse and how it’s in our communities and neighborhoods, and also asking our lawmakers that they put forth harsher punishment laws for those who do abuse children,” said Cory Hoffman with Million March against Child Abuse. Organizers say on average, 20 new cases of child abuse are reported in Idaho every day. Many believe more cases go unreported. Hoffman says it’s everyone’s responsibility to be on the lookout for child abuse and to call the number 211 if they want to report child abuse. From KTVB News.

2. A neighbor was as wise as a serpent when he video recorded a man abusing his step-son during a ball game. See the video on http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=8689626 .The video is being used in court as crucial evidence of abuse.

3. In Chicago, the father of one of two young children found with bruises after police responded to a disturbance in the East Chatham neighborhood has been charged with domestic battery, authorities said.

Edwin Anderson, 28, was expected to appear in Domestic Violence Court for a bond hearing after police found a 1-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy with visible injuries at Anderson’s home in the 8200 block of South Ellis Avenue, police said.

Officers were called to the home in the 8200 block of South Ellis Avenue around 9 p.m. Monday, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said. A neighbor reported possible child abuse at the home, police said. Officers found four children, 4 years and younger, in the home. Two of them had bruises, Greer said.

Anderson fled the home out a back door before police arrived. Officers found the boy had bruising and welts, and the girl also showed marks, police said. Anderson was arrested when he returned, and police confiscated a black leather belt believed used to inflict the injuries.

All four children were taken to the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital, where they were listed in good condition. The children, three girls and a boy, range in age from 6 months to 4 years old, Greer said.

The children’s mother was questioned by police but not charged, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is investigating allegations of child abuse against a man who is the boyfriend of the children’s mother, DCFS spokesman Jimmie Whitelow said today. The mother is being investigated on allegations of neglect, he said.

No booking photo of Anderson was released because he was charged with a misdemeanor. Unlike most misdemeanors, all domestic battery charges in Chicago, however, require a defendant’s appearance for a bond hearing.

It is Child Abuse Prevention Month

I like to think all months are child abuse prevention months. We all should report any child abuse that comes to our attention by calling the abuse hotline or notifying police. However, April has been designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month in our country.

A conference featuring discussions on the latest research on a variety of topics concerning prevention were held last week in Alabama at the National Symposium on Child Abuse. Chris Newlin, executive director of the National Children’s Advocacy Centers, explained that child care workers are aiming for a holistic approach to care – “all under one roof.”

Newlin said his organization is seeing a troubling trend – an increase in child neglect across the nation. In Texas, Children’s Advocacy Centers served more than 26,000 children last year. More than two-thirds of them reported sexual abuse, with the alleged perpetrator most often related to or known to the child.

“Child abuse, especially child sexual abuse, is not just a criminal justice issue, not just a Child Protective Services issue,” Newlin said. “It’s that, plus a mental health issue, a medical issue – and only by having these professionals work together,” will we “be able to be effective in our response.”

There are 24 Child Advocacy Centers in Ohio and many more in states around the nation. The Centers  provide child abuse prevention training to more than a half-million people a year. The centers can be contacted if child abuse is suspected in your area. Working with local law enforcement, these centers help abused children recover and find more healthy living situations.

Newlin said “the child-friendly setting and team strategy have paid off for county and state budgets – and for individual families.”

More information is online at http://www.nationalchildrensalliance.org

Dr. Colin Ross explains Multiple Personality Disorder

What is Abuse?

Most of us would be able to define abuse if we were asked. We would probably say “hurting a child or a spouse,” but the concept of abuse goes much further.

The Department of Children and Families in Connecticut defines it this way:

“Abuse is a non-accidental injury to a child which, regardless of motive, is inflicted or allowed to be inflicted by the person responsible for the child’s care. It includes physical injury, malnutrition, sexual molestation, deprivation of necessities, emotional maltreatment or cruel punishment.”

According to this definition, abuse can occur with any kind of bad treatment by a care-giver. It certainly is a warning to people in the business of professional childcare.

In a story from the journal Pediatrics last August, and reported on Time.com, a group of pediatricians warn other doctors to stay alert to the signs of psychological maltreatment as well. This kind of abuse includes terrorizing, belittling or neglecting a child and can be every bit as devastating as other types of abuse.

One of the doctors contributing to the article, Harriet MacMillan of Canada, said “We are talking about extremes and the likelihood of harm, or risk of harm resulting from the kinds of behavior that make a child feel worthless, unloved or unwanted.”

Psychological abuse is more common, and as harmful as other child maltreatment. This type of abuse is hard to identify because it is not defined by any specific event, such as a hospital visit for a burn or a broken bone. It can only be recognized by observing the nature of the relationship between the caregiver and the child.

CHILD ABUSE HOTLINES

The website that lists many child abuse hotlines is:

http://reportchildabusenow.com/#a

Just click on the state you live in and you can get a phone number.

Signs of Child Abuse and Neglect

The Joyful Heart Foundation was started by Mariska Hargitay, the star of Law and Order, Special Victims Unit.  On their website they list the 10 most common signs of child abuse so people can recognize an abused child and report it to officials. Learning these signs and discussing them with those close to you is the first step in breaking the pattern of violence that hurts us all.

1. Unexplained injuries – Visible signs of physical abuse may include unexplained burns or bruises in the shape of objects. You may also hear unconvincing explanations of a child’s injuries.

2. Changes in behavior – Abuse can lead to  many changes in a child’s behavior. Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive.

3. Returning to earlier behaviors -Abused children may display behaviors shown at earlier ages, such as thumb-sucking, bed-wetting, fear of the dark or strangers. For some children, even loss of acquired language or memory problems may be an issue.

4. Fear of going home – Abused children may express apprehensions or anxiety about leaving school or going places with the person who is abusing them.

5. Changes in eating – The stress, fear and anxiety caused by abuse can lead to changes in a child’s eating behaviors, which may result in weight gain or loss.

6. Changes in sleeping – Abused children may have frequent nightmares or have difficulty falling asleep, and as a result may appear tired or fatigued.

7. Changes in school performance and attendance – Abused children may have difficulty concentrating in school or have excessive absences, sometimes due to adults trying to hide the children’s injuries from authorities.

8. Lack or personal care or hygiene – Abused and neglected children may appears uncared for. They may present as consistently dirty and have severe body odor, or they may lack sufficient clothing for the weather.

9. Risk-taking behaviors – Young people who are being abused may engage in high-risk activities, such as using drugs or alcohol or carrying a weapon.

10. Inappropriate sexual behaviors – Children who have been sexually abused may exhibit overly sexualized behavior or use explicit sexual language.

If you notice a child with some of the above behaviors it is probably best not to immediately confront the parents or caretakers of the child. If they are the abusers, you will only cause them to go further undercover and they will deny any abuse is going on. The child will probably deny it too, because they are deathly afraid of their abuser.

If you notice a child with some of the above behaviors contact an abuse hotline or the school or the police. I will give you the website  with the phone numbers of the abuse hotlines in my next post. Reporting child abuse can put you at risk for abusive behavior yourself so please be tactful and discreet.

Do you suspect child abuse?

I’ve been in that situation before. You see a mother or father abusing their child and you can’t do anything about it. I was a sales clerk for Belk’s Department Store in Florida. The store was in “close-out” mode so all the merchandise and clerks were in the front of the store and there was only one check out counter. So when I saw a mother abusing her child there wasn’t even a phone available. She brought the boy into the store at night to find out if we had pants that would fit him. It was fairly cold out and the boy had no shoes. The two had a bad energy. The mother was pulling the boy and the boy was trying to get away from her.

“Mommy, my feet hurt,” the boy was whining.

“We came in to buy pants,” was her answer. When I told her there were no children’s clothes left she jerked her little boy’s arm very hard and he winced.

“You’re hurting him,” I said, trying to somehow help the boy. I could see the car outside in front of the store and there was a man sitting in the car waiting.

“I didn’t come in here to get advice on raising my kid. Do you have any pants or not?” She was very nasty.

“No, we don’t.”

I wanted to follow them out of the store and get a license number, but what about my job? What if someone stole merchandise while I was outside? And what would the mother do if I followed her? I’m sure she was capable of beating me up if I crossed her. There wasn’t even a phone in my area so I could call the police, and cell phones weren’t invented yet. At that point I wished there was someone to help me so I could get a license number.

Exposing “Sybil Exposed”

            Journalist Debbie Nathan’s book Sybil Exposed is Ms. Nathan’s effort to prove that Sybil, the best seller and TV movie from the 70’s, was not true.  Ms. Nathan discovered transcripts and plentiful records of Sybil’s therapy sessions collected by the author of Sybil, Flora Rheta Schreiber. These were found in 2008 at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

Many older readers remember Sybil, the book and the movie, which recount the struggles of a young woman whose mind, divided by childhood sexual abuse, broke into seventeen personalities. We now know that Sybil’s real name was Shirley Mason and her parents were Mattie and Walter Mason, who lived in Dodge Center, Minnesota.

Ms. Nathan has certainly done mountains of research, which is to her credit. However, it seems to me that she begins with a bias against multiple personality disorder, which never really disappears from her writing.

The main premise of Debbie Nathan’s book is that Shirley’s psychiatrist, Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, forced Shirley to remember events that were not true. Ms. Nathan claims that because Dr. Wilbur used overdoses of drugs on Shirley, the girl came up with “false memories.” Ms. Nathan adds that many of Dr. Wilbur’s techniques were questionable, including a deep bonding and close friendship between the doctor and Shirley, which is forbidden by the oath taken to become a psychiatrist and broke the boundaries between patient and doctor.

Ms. Nathan claims that Shirley Mason made up her personalities and her abuse, which seems to be a very callous judgement about a woman who lived most of her life in psychiatric treatment. Since very few people even knew about multiple personality disorder, how could Shirley know how to pretend she had it? At one point in her therapy with Dr. Wilbur, Shirley wrote the doctor a letter saying she had made up all the personalities, so I can see how Ms. Nathan came to her conclusion. But why would Dr. Wilbur continue treatment with these personalities? Ms. Nathan claims it was for the fame and the money.

Ms. Nathan goes on to say that Shirley was diagnosed with pernicious anemia when she was about ten years old, and that the disease was probably the cause of Shirley’s craziness. Ms. Nathan writes,

“Soon Shirley would not know the difference between the bad feelings in her mind and the malfunctions in her body. All would combine, into a performance that eventually would become one of the most dramatic productions in world, with help from Dr. Cornelia Wilbur and her ‘pure science.’” Sybil Exposed, p.220.

Ms. Nathan also includes several pictures of Shirley and notes she wrote calling her mother “good mother, bad mother,” because Mattie was kind to daughter on some occasions and tortured  her on others (Mattie Mason was once diagnosed as a schizophrenic). One picture shows Shirley as a young girl. She is grossly underweight, her right eye looks black and blue and her smile looks like it’s pasted on. In a picture drawn by Shirley, she writes that her mother thought she was “too fat,” and she wasn’t permitted to have lunch. Isn’t that evidence that Mattie was overtly cruel to her daughter?

Since I have Multiple Personality Disorder myself, of course I don’t agree with Debbie Nathan. I felt hurt by this book, which seems to claim that all multiples are just imagining their abuse, that it never happened and that they are making up their alternate personalities. Unfortunately there is no one to ask about the truthfulness of either Sybil or Sybil Exposed. All three women are now dead.

For those who really want to know the truth about Sybil. Dr. Patrick Suraci interviewed Shirley Mason before she died and wrote a book entitled Sybil in her own words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason, Her Multiple Personalities and Paintings, Nov. 2011. I am planning to read that book soon and I will report on it.

I wonder if Debbie Nathan set out to prove that Sybil was normal, but proved instead that her psychiatrist was crazy. Claiming that multiple personality is a hoax takes away some hope for the children who are being sexually abused now. Are they just imagining it? Are they play-acting to get attention? Are they just making it up to vent their hatred for their parents? Or, are they simply victims of pernicious anemia?

Here’s another link about Multiple Personality

 

http://www.humanillnesses.com/original/Men-Os/Multiple-Personality-Disorder-Dissociative-Identity-Disorder.html

An Open Letter to Mom

Dear Mom, It’s been so long since I’ve seen you and I miss you terribly. I miss the way we used to walk in the woods and pick violets. I miss the old washtub you let me play in and my Annie Oakley gun set and the way you used to hold me by the window so I could watch the snow. There’s so much that I want to tell you.

When I was fifty years old I discovered that I have multiple personality disorder. I know if you were here and could talk to the psychologists and psychiatrists you would understand me better. I acted crazy when I was growing up and you had no idea what to do with me. Thank goodness, now I understand it. I had several personalities doing things that were not socially acceptable and acting out against you and Father. Please forgive me.

I had a problem with rage, as I’m sure you remember. The rage was not against you, it was against the babysitter that abused me when I was four years old. Mom, she held a butcher knife over me and threatened to kill me if I told you or Father. If you think back to the summer of 1946, you’ll remember that I started acting strange. You kept asking me what was wrong, but I couldn’t tell you. I was hoping you’d figure it out, but you didn’t.  So I know you formed a great dislike for me because I failed in every way to be the daughter you wanted. Again, please forgive me. I know it may be a few more years before I see you again, and that day is in the Lord’s timing. Just know that I love you dearly and I’ll see you when I get to heaven. Love, Nancy

The Lighter Side of Being a Multiple

It’s Monday and that means getting serious about my work. I am presently writing a memoir about the discovery of my other personalities. It’s called “Multiple: A Journey through Insanity.” It’s the story of my sexual abuse as a child and how it injured my mind. The book is very serious and it gets me down when I spend all my time writing about my abuse and it’s consequences.

That’s why I’m writing this blog – for comic relief. It helps to laugh at myself and my circumstances, especially ones that I can not or don’t want to change.

I’m writing about the lighter side of being a multiple. Actually in my case there would be more than thirteen sides: the dark side, the lighter side, the serious side, the brighter side, the comic side, the icky side, the romantic side, the sexy side, the gross side, the pretty side, the ugly side, the up side, the down side, and last but not least, the calm side. Just kidding. There is no calm side!

Do you have some of these sides to your personality?

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Other Multiples

If you know someone with multiple personalities, please tell them about my blog. I would like to connect with them